Mowing your lawn is a bi-monthly (sometimes more) chore that is a rite of passage for many young kids. Your parents might pay you a few bucks for your help. Regardless, you were expected to do a high-quality job in return for some sort of life lesson about hard work. LG has a solution for parents and children: a robot lawn mower controlled by your voice. LG first announced the robot mower at the CES 2017 consumer electronics show. They then gave the first look at a prototype at the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin.
Expanding LG’s Home Robot Line
David VanderWaal, vice president of marketing for LG Electronics USA, says, “To build upon LG’s early consumer success with the HOM-BOT robot vacuum cleaner, the company has expanded upon its innovations in smart technology and robotics to unveil the most dramatic lineup of robots yet. Each robot prioritizes consumer experience and convenience at forefront, both inside and outside the home.”
The LG Lawn Mower Robot works with Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant, voice-enabled personal virtual assistants. If you say something like “Alexa, cut my grass” or “OK, Google, mow the lawn,” your robot mower should automatically start mowing your yard with minimal supervision and instructions.
The robot uses technology developed and optimized over several years of testing and analysis, called HOM-BOT. HOM-BOT is a robot vacuum cleaner for your home, not your yard. LG used the basic theory and data behind HOM-BOT to create their Lawn Mower Robot. As a result, the lawnmower trims grass with precision, reliability, and safety. Like their airport robot (installed at airports in South Korea in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang), the Lawn Mower Robot has advanced sensors and bumpers. This allows the lawnmower to know where it is at any given time, in addition to detecting obstacles in sight, like trees or hedges.
The robot uses a fast-moving blade that is consistent and efficient in its movement and action. Your lawn, as a result, looks like a professional maintains the landscaping. The lawn mower robot also comes with a side wire to simplify the installation process, making the robot user-friendly.
The Technology Behind the Product
Since LG only recently unveiled the robotic lawn mower, there’s still a lot of unknowns about this product. There is no confirmed price at this point, but comparing it to competitors on the market places it somewhere in the wide range of $1,000-$7,000. There is also no scheduled release date yet. LG hasn’t revealed which countries it plans to sell the lawn mower in. Consequently, finer details, like warranty information, testing results, and photos of the robot in action are missing at the moment.
Of course, if your yard is large, you may even need more than one lawnmower robot. In addition to Amazon and Google integration, LG gave the robot a GPS tracker. The tracker collects data about where it needs to go in your yard and what’s already finished. The GPS is also handy for tracking the robot’s location in case of theft or misplacement.
Unfortunately, if you don’t have a perimeter wire or fence around your whole yard, you’ll have to make arrangements to set that up. The robot needs to know where to stop mowing, and these markers give it the exact locations to stop mowing. Regardless, the robot can’t mow forever. When the battery does die, it will take about 30 minutes to fully charge the battery again.
Its speed is pretty fast: it can mow 5,500 square feet in 2.5 hours.
Song Dae-hyun, president of LG’s home appliance and air solution unit, says, “The development of voice recognition technology plays a crucial role in advancing our own IoT and smart technologies. By adhering to LG’s Open Platform philosophy, we’re able to deliver a diverse range of benefits and services for our customers that is unrivaled in the industry. By strengthening our relationships with Google, Amazon and other players in this space, we’re making amazing headway in the fourth industrial revolution.”
There’s no word on when the Lawn Mower Robot will start manufacturing on a mass scale, but it pales a little bit in comparison to the $250 Tertill, the outdoor brainchild robot of Roomba. Like the LG Lawn Mower Robot, the Honda Miimo requires the homeowner to install a wire for the robot to detect boundaries.
Of course, plenty could change between the current implementation of the LG Lawn Mower Robot and what comes to market. We’re excited to see the final product.